EA recently announced that it was closing Pandemic studio. I wish they would not have, because this action resulted in hours of torture for me.
Initially, I thought this was a bad idea because I always remember them as the creators of Star Wars: Battlefront II, which is a fantastic game. I still go back and play it from time to time. Unfortunately, the reality of their close was probably a boon to gamers everywhere.
Vanlandw doomed us to a play through of Mercenaries 2. In what started as a one man show of support for Pandemic against EA, he pledged to play Mercenaries 2. Since I already had an unopened copy of the game I volunteered to play with him. This was a poor decision.
I am not exactly sure why I expected Mercenaries 2 to be a good game. Because, I never actually finished the first one. Sure, I purchased the first Mercenaries game, and played it or a while, but the gameplay was pretty lame, and it was buggy. The combination of buggy, and screwy difficulty curve made it a very frustrating experience.
The game itself was not exactly horrible, but there were some mechanisms that made the game a bear to play.
Games like this are really unrealistic. Thus, I expect a lot of arcade style of play where you can just blow through things and have a good time. Unfortunately, the developers decided to enforce some arbitrary realism into the game.
Limited ammo is probably the most annoying of these issues. It seems like whenever you get a halfway decent weapon you run out of ammo and are forced to use whatever crap weapon the computer is using. No fun there. And, much needed explosive weapons were always in short supply. I think I spent about 60% of the game carrying around an empty RPG. However, this is not nearly as frustrating as the vehicles.
Gamers are used to having access to unlimited, or near unlimited ammo in vehicles. Its just kind of defacto standard. Pandemic decided that it would make the game more fun if you could blow through all the ammo in your vehicle in ten seconds. I am not exaggerating. You spend a fortune to get this vehicles dropped, and before you know it they are basically worthless. But, it is not like it mattered anyway, since the vehicles explode so easily.
Speaking of which, there is a mission in this game that may have to go on the list of all time worst missions in video games. “Doom Patrol,” puts you in the driver’s seat of, “Cacharro de Muerte,” otherwise known as the piece of shit. This is a car / monster truck with the ability to have some kind of booster jump. In this mission, you are forced to go through a brutal obstacle course in a typical race fashion, where you have limited time to progress to the next checkpoint.
While you are navigation the course you are confronted with all kinds of obstacles that threaten to flip over your vehicle. If you do land upside down, or on your side you are screwed. You have to blow up the car and start the mission over. However, this issue in itself, while frustrating isn’t really a deal breaker. So, to make it even more obsurd the developers decided they would going to through in some enemy troops to shoot are you. Again, quite annoying but not that big of a deal. The total bullshit comes at about nine minutes into this ten minute mission. Some jerk decided to put a tank in the middle of a hair pin turn. If you mess it up you die. Vanlandw and I spent at least an hour attempting this mission over and over again. I still get made just thinking about it.
Beyond those major issues, there are a lot of little things that just add up to irritation.
- Having the female constantly repeat the same damn thing to you
- Repetitive missions
- Brutally long travel times
- Sluggish/clumsy vehicle controls
- Sluggish aiming sensitivity combined with overly aggressive sensitivity acceleration.
And the list goes on and on.
Having considered all these issues, I still have to give the developers props for putting in full co-op for the game. Granted, it is glitchy, and we did experience a couple of hiccups, it worked for the most part. And, for that simple pleasure the game was endurable to the end. More studios should get on the co-op train, I’m looking at you infinity ward. Seriously, pulling out full campaign co-op for that bastardized special ops crap in the game? You should be ashamed.
Upon due consideration, I am going this game a 0 (average) on my Undecim scale. The reason I rated the game so high was because of the full campaign co-op, and the fact that the game came out on my birthday.